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Hospital Deal, Restaurant Wage Bill Pass In Hartford

Jessica Hill
Connecticut Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, bangs a gavel to start a special session at the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Tuesday.

Connecticut lawmakers met in special session on Wednesday to ratify the settlement of a longstanding dispute with hospitals. They also passed legislation to clarify state rules on how to calculate pay for tipped restaurant workers.  

Senate President Martin Looney says the hospital deal is a win for the state and the hospitals. He says Connecticut could save as much as $4 billion over the seven-year life of the agreement and hospitals have an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

“Two percent rate increase effective January 1st of each year for in-patient. And 2.2% for outpatient services. That is something the hospitals were very anxious to see negotiated.”

The legislation clarifying the rules for calculating pay for tipped workers is aimed at resolving a legal dispute over when restaurants are allowed to pay servers less than minimum wage. For example, for non-tipped jobs such as set-up before, and clean-up after service.  

The bill has the support of Governor Ned Lamont. He vetoed an earlier version claiming it was unfair to workers.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.